Overpromised & Underdelivered

American Girl started as a direct-mail operation in Middleton, Wisconsin in 1986 and now sells more dolls than everyone else except Barbie. It does not merely sell handsome 18-inch high dolls. It offers the “whole world” as the corporation’s literature puts it, of each of its eight fictional characters: their clothing, furniture; all sorts of accessories; a series of books for each doll that...

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